Ask the Concrete Questions at SWON's Membership Meeting
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
SWON's 3D printer is about to be loaned out for its 20th time this
year. Considering it's out for two weeks at a time, we're very happy
that it's spent so much of 2015 on the road.
I've gotten to deliver the
printer and train those who will use it a lot of those times, and I've
seen some things. I've had the extruder nozzle clog half-way through a
demonstration. (There's not much to show when no plastic's coming out.)
I've had calibrations that didn't calibrate. I've fused a broken plastic
piece with acetone so we could 3D-print a replacement part. That's
useful knowledge, and I pass it along when I'm out.
There are other questions I can't
directly answer. How have local kids responded to seeing a 3D printer
in action? What patrons have asked for specific models to be printed,
and what were those models? What toys were printed, and what practical
uses did people find for the printer?
Librarians have asked me those
questions too, and it's reasonable to have concrete questions. A lot of
the answers aren't yet concrete. That's common in the early roll-out of a
new project. At almost every library I've taken our 3D printer to,
someone's told me this their first time to see one. They're excited to
see how it works and imagine how they might use it. That excitement and
interest is worth exploring.
Nathan here. This is my last weekly email for SWON. I'm moving on to
work more closely with the public. It's been great to work with you all
these last four years. With all the energy and commitment I've seen in
you, I know libraries have a bright future.
Ask the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Today is the last day to
register for SWON's Membership Meeting next Tuesday, December
1st. There, you'll hear about a number of initiatives that PLCH has in
progress. Kim Fender and Greg Edwards have lots to share, and you'll
have the opportunity to ask your concrete questions.
When I was recently at their
downtown makerspace, talking with staff, I was impressed to hear that
the entire circuit of tech gets lots of use. The sewing machines are the
hub of an active club of quilters. The large-format printer is
constantly booked. The digital SLR cameras get frequent use with the
green screen and the light box, which is great for making product
pictures for Etsy.
We hope you'll join us with your
questions and with stories of your own experiences.